THE historical connection between the Middle Swan Cricket Club and the Swan Valley runs strong, with the club celebrating its 140th anniversary last month.
Houghtons winery founders, Dr John Ferguson and his son Charles, laid a pitch in the middle of the vineyards for the workers in the area in 1859 and established the Swan Cricket Club, which in 1878 became the Middle Swan Cricket Club.
It’s not the only connection between Western Australia’s oldest continuous club and the famous winery.
Cricket was another passion for Jack Mann, whose name is synonymous with the WA Wine Industry having first produced the now famous Houghton White Classic.
An outstanding player and club president, he was also the patron of the Swan Helena District Cricket Association, the same competition the club plays in today.
In 1975 the club’s current home ground on Bishop Rd was named after Jack Mann and every season the fairest and best player for each grade is awarded the Jack Mann Medal.
His club legacy continued through the deeds of sons Tony and Dorham.
After plying his trade at Middle Swan, Tony became a top WA Shield cricketer who also played in four Tests for Australia while Dorham was a regular first grade representative for Midland Guildford.
The link between the wine region and the club continued when John Kosovich, a handy bowler for the club in the late 1960’s was awarded an Order of Australia and also the Jack Mann Memorial Medal for his contribution to the WA Wine Industry.
His sons Ray and Archie were both exceptional players in recent years and are now proud life members of the club.
The club’s historical milestone was celebrated last month with a special ‘friendly’ T20 match when the MSCC 78s legends, including the Kosovich boys, took on the Swan Helena Districts Cricket Association legends at Jack Mann Oval in Middle Swan.
Current WA Player Joel Paris joined the 78s but his help during the innings wasn’t quite enough to give them a fairytale win as they went down narrowly by eight runs to Swan Helena.
By Andrew Carter